Planning Playing

Township-wide recreation planning is coming to South Frontenac: catching up to most other Township services.

For the last 20 years recreation planning has been organized around the four pre-amalgamation Township, now district, boundaries. District recreation committees were appointed by Council. The four district committees then appointed members to the South Frontenac Recreation Committee that recommended policy to Council.

Over the last 20 years our population has grown. Recreation facility maintenance, activity scheduling, and user coordination, tasks historically done by the district committees, are now primarily delivered by Township staff. New activities, like cycling, pickle ball and more festivals, have emerged. Long-time activities, like field sports, now use parks in all the districts. These changes have made the District Committee structure less relevant.

In June, for a one-year trial, Council adopted a township-wide recreation committee structure. One committee will focus on developing proposals for Community facilities, primarily halls, parks and sports fields. Another committee will concentrate on polices for recreational programming and events in the Township. Each committee will have eight community members plus Councillors.

Most recreational activities in the Township are driven by local interests and community volunteers. This will continue. It is essential if programs are to meet the needs of new and long-standing of residents. The goal of the new committee structure is to develop effective policies on how Township’s resources can best support existing community-based recreational activities and meet the recreational needs of the community.

The Township is looking for members of the two new recreation committees. If you would like to join one please submit your name. Follow this link for details on how to apply. The deadline for applications is July 26.

Even if you are not formally appointed to a committee, I have asked that the committee meetings be open, that there be generous provisions for non-members to speak, and that extensive contact lists be kept of interested residents to solicit many opinions on issues under discussion. Putting our name forward will help make the process stronger.

Waste Collection Tweak or Redo

It has been nine years since garbage and a recycling pick up was publicly tendered. This is a long time since the theoretical value of contracting-out is from competition generated in the tendering process.

The delay in bidding for a new contract seemed prudent due to uncertainty about what services the province would require the Township to offer. While the uncertainty has not changed, it is still not clear how the new producer responsibility for recycling will actually operate, it is time is time to tender for waste and recycling pickup.

A new tender is a good time to make needed changes to the way garbage and recycling pick up is done. The Township can write into the tender the specifications that it thinks are important.

Some changes being considered by staff include:

  • Filling up the smaller dumps, like Green Bay and Bradshaw, and closing them. This would save money on staff but provide inconvenience to nearby residents.
  • Closing the Loughborough dump to the public.
  • Requiring all contractors to have trucks no older than 7 years, to limit swill leakage.
  • Only have curbside pick up for residents on Township roads. This would create fairness across the Township, but remove a historical service from some residents who live on private lanes.
  • Have pick-up on both sides of the road so residents do not have to cross the road to put-out their garbage and recycling.

One proposal not put forward by staff is to increase our municipally owned pickup. More, or exclusive, in-house pickup would make it cheaper and easier to meet emerging needs and regulations: the Township would not have to break, or renegotiate contracts, with private providers. Second, it guarantees that more jobs and money stay local.

How would you like to see garbage and recycling pick up changed?

Please pass along your suggestions.

Strategic Plan

Meeting for public input on the Township’s Strategic Plan for the next 3 years will be held on:

  • August 1 at Glendower Hall;
  • August 7 at the Storrington Centre;
  • August 13 at the Verona Lion’s Hall; and,
  • August 20 at the township council chambers in Sydenham.

If you are unable to make a meeting you can submit your priorities online or by sending note to the Township office.

Lake and Trails Festival

The Third Annual Lakes and Trails Festival is on July 20th from 9-2 in the Point Park, Sydenham. Come anytime: all events, music and lunch are free. Events include cycling, a historic walk of Sydenham, boating and a live music concert. A full listing of events and times can be found at the Lakes and Trials Festival website.

About Ross Sutherland

nurse, researcher, public health care activist, councillor South Frontenac Township
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